Multimedia Tools and Applications

, Volume 76, Issue 3, pp 3669–3697 | Cite as

A blind medical image watermarking: DWT-SVD based robust and secure approach for telemedicine applications



In this paper, a blind image watermarking scheme based on discrete wavelet transform (DWT) and singular value decomposition (SVD) is proposed. In this scheme, DWT is applied on ROI (region of interest) of the medical image to get different frequency subbands of its wavelet decomposition. On the low frequency subband LL of the ROI, block-SVD is applied to get different singular matrices. A pair of elements with similar values is identified from the left singular value matrix of these selected blocks. The values of these pairs are modified using certain threshold to embed a bit of watermark content. Appropriate threshold is chosen to achieve the imperceptibility and robustness of medical image and watermark contents respectively. For authentication and identification of original medical image, one watermark image (logo) and other text watermark have been used. The watermark image provides authentication whereas the text data represents electronic patient record (EPR) for identification. At receiving end, blind recovery of both watermark contents is performed by a similar comparison scheme used during the embedding process. The proposed algorithm is applied on various groups of medical images like X-ray, CT scan and mammography. This scheme offers better visibility of watermarked image and recovery of watermark content due to DWT-SVD combination. Moreover, use of Hamming error correcting code (ECC) on EPR text bits reduces the BER and thus provides better recovery of EPR. The performance of proposed algorithm with EPR data coding by Hamming code is compared with the BCH error correcting code and it is found that later one perform better. A result analysis shows that imperceptibility of watermarked image is better as PSNR is above 43 dB and WPSNR is above 52 dB for all set of images. In addition, robustness of the scheme is better than existing scheme for similar set of medical images in terms of normalized correlation coefficient (NCC) and bit-error-rate (BER). An analysis is also carried out to verify the performance of the proposed scheme for different size of watermark contents (image and EPR data). It is observed from analysis that the proposed scheme is also appropriate for watermarking of color image. Using proposed scheme, watermark contents are extracted successfully under various noise attacks like JPEG compression, filtering, Gaussian noise, Salt and pepper noise, cropping, filtering and rotation. Performance comparison of proposed scheme with existing schemes shows proposed scheme has better robustness against different types of attacks. Moreover, the proposed scheme is also robust under set of benchmark attacks known as checkmark attacks.


Blind watermarking Image and text watermarking Medical image security Electronic patient record (EPR) Error correcting code 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Electronics and Communication Engineering DepartmentMotilal Nehru National Institute of TechnologyAllahabadIndia

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